Real wood vs Engineered vs Vinyl Hardwood
Hardwood vs Engineered Wood
Are you looking at hardwood floors and wondering if you have them or how to know if your buying them. What is fake or engineered hardwood? It looks so much like the real thing that today people buy homes thinking they have real hardwood but they actually do not. They sometimes find out they have engineered wood instead of actual all hardwood floors. What does that mean?
Hardwood floors come in strips or planks which range between 5/16 to 3/4 inches in thickness.The entire plank is made from wood and because of this the flooring is easier to damage. Hardwood floors require maintenance and over time will show more dents and scratches. Hardwood is usually more expensive but still in demand.
When referring to engineered wood it is actually referencing the thin piece of real wood that is glued to several layers of plywood with a hardwood backing as the bottom layer. The top is actually much thinner than solid wood. When refinishing engineered floors remember they can only be refinished once and sometimes twice. It still has natural characteristics of wood species unlike the photographic layer in laminate. Engineered flooring is more durable than hardwood especially with moisture and heat. The fact that these floors can get wet means they can be used in bathroom and kitchens and last much longer than real hardwood flooring.
What are laminate floors? Today there are so many laminate wood look alike flooring options out there that it can be hard to see the difference. Are laminate floors wood or do they even have wood in them? Laminate flooring is durable and usually less expensive offering a variety of sizes, colors and textures. The core of laminate is usually made of high density fiber (HDF) unlike actual slabs of wood. The thickness is usually around 3/8 inches thick and the top layer is designed to look just like wood, knotted wood or whatever look your going for. It is normally installed using a tongue and locking system that makes it easy to install.
Compare Vinyl and Engineered Hardwood
Maintenance & Care
When deciding on hardwood floors there are many things to keep in mind like cost and durability. When it comes to taking care of real hardwood flooring it is much harder to keep them looking like new. Fortunately engineered and vinyl plank hardwood flooring is easier to maintain and is more cost efficient than real wood floors. Vinyl is actually one of the easiest floors to take care of since its water-resistant. It is important to remember not to use wax products on vinyl. Same for engineered floors they are easier to clean than traditional wood but still need special care.
When looking at the life of the floors vinyl flooring should last up to 20 years or more if properly maintained, depending on thickness. Engineered hardwoods are built to last for a long time and can usually see up to 15-20 years if properly cleaned. In truth hardwood can last up to 100 years or more depending on the wear of the flooring. So your wondering which will last longer? Truth, engineered flooring is usually the more durable and long lasting of the wood variety, but honestly depending on the traffic, thickness, and durability will depend on the life of your product.
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